Michael O'Sullivan
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For 1,016 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael O'Sullivan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Night Moves
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
1,016 movie reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Overflowing with madcap visual flair and following a rambling thread of a plot that seems, at times, more the product of free association than an actual script, The Triplets of Belleville is a triumph of animated style over substance.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Its relatively minor imperfections seem more glaring when compared to the near flawlessness of the film's lyrical, scorching start.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    May be a fish tale, but its story of the paradox of love -- knowing when to hold on means knowing when to let go -- is profoundly humane and human.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    All foreplay and no climax.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    That rare cinematic experience-a movie so close to pure perfection that it seems a shame to spoil it by even reading a review beforehand.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Works as both historical allegory and moving family drama.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Neither wholly cynical nor wholly romantic, Kaufman's story is a balance of smarts and sentiment. It's the most fully realized working out of his two favorite obsessions: the subjective nature of experience and the psychological mysteries of pair bonding.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Paltrow and Fiennes are so good and the script, referencing not only "Romeo and Juliet" but "Twelfth Night," is so consistently intelligent that seduction is inevitable.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    As haunting as it is haunted, The Missing Picture leaves viewers’ heads rattling with ghosts.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It plays out with all the suspense of a thriller. Assisted by acclaimed editor Walter Murch, Levinson wisely shapes the story not around the hardware, which was plagued by malfunctions and other delays, but around the people tasked with making the LHC run.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is incomplete, contradictory, as multifaceted (and as brilliant) as a diamond.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's enough to make your head spin, but Almodovar, whose mastery of the medium has never been more assured, gives you plenty to think about, ultimately grounding the dizzy whirl of his idiosyncratic fictional world in a story that feels not just true but universal.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Mostly, though, it's a film about that hollow feeling that hits you when the tears have all dried up and your face hurts way too much to even crack a smile.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    With unsurprising irony, the "Sixteen" of the title foreshadows Liam's birthday and even worse calamity, which makes a grim and gripping story all the more heartbreaking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's depressing enough to watch this family's struggles with life. But their pain really hits home when you think that the pants you might be wearing could have contributed to it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a muscular, physical movie, pieced together from arresting imagery and revelatory gestures, large and small.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The nail-biting quality of Shackleton's true story outdoes any dramatic fiction on the market.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a soaring achievement, without ever leaving the ground.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Many thematic ingredients come together in Farhadi’s rich stew of a story: jealousy, resentment, betrayal, forgiveness, healing. The filmmaker stirs them, with the touch of a master, into a dish that both stimulates and nourishes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The frequent, mundane talks -- which Alexandra engages in with her grandson, Malika and the base camp's enlisted men -- are not so much about politics as they are about people.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Jack is just one of a dozen enormously appealing personalities in Out of Sight.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    A small film of surpassing beauty and sadness. Yet its bittersweet flavor isn't artificial, but rather the product of the slow ripening of character.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Spielmann doesn't move his camera much, but he doesn't have to. The uniformly crackerjack cast keeps things electric, yet always believable, even when behaving in ways that are shocking.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    As quintessential a story of American ambition as Welles' own "Citizen Kane."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The disparity between Cindy and Jerry is itself obscene, but less so than that illuminated by the customers of Farewell Cruises, whom Yung shows to be almost parasitic in the way they feed off the misery (albeit without knowing it) of those who serve them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The line between madness and genius is thin. Not to mention more than amply explored in any number of films about tortured artists. But to look at the almost religious ecstasy on Moreau's face is to feel the artist's passion and be inspired by it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Momma's Man takes that germ of an idea and lets it flower, in a way that is both odd and oddly compelling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Short on drama but long on poetry.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Moodysson's cornball sentimentality about the many shapes of the human family is tempered by his honesty about personal frailty and the silliness of utopian living experiments.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    In its small, achingly beautiful way, this is the lesson that Osama teaches us: When one human being suffers, it is all of us who share her pain.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s upsetting and scary to watch the footage of orca attacks collected in Blackfish, a damning documentary about the treatment of the animals by marine parks.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a story of standing out and blending in, sometimes at the same time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    His story is sad, compelling and morbidly, tragically watchable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a comic book at heart, albeit a thoroughly, grandly romantic one in the end.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    A quietly brilliant study in cognitive dissonance, The Flat is a documentary look at Holocaust denial, but not the kind you might think.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a wonder how Cutie and the Boxer, in less than an hour and a half, manages to say so much about love, life and art. Movies twice as long are often half as eloquent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It knocks you off your feet and leaves you shaken.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 38 Michael O'Sullivan
    The story is maddeningly oblique and incomplete, despite paying what at times feels like excruciating attention to the minutiae of a dying love affair's final hours.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a story of jaw-dropping chutzpah, grim, mostly hindsight-based humor and more stomach-churning drama than you could find in 10 screenplays.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Michael O'Sullivan
    To refuse to call A Hijacking a thriller is not to say it isn’t thrilling, in a dryly cerebral way. Writer-director Tobias Lindholm has a point to make, and he makes it pungently.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Tells a tale of fortitude that comes not from muscle but from the ineffable, bungee-like sinew that is the human spirit.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The sprawling cast, the naturalistic, overlapping dialogue (here by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, daughter of director Sidney) and the swirling action: it seemed pure Robert Altman.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Fascinating and transgressive love story.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    There are so many things to like about The Lego Movie: a great voice cast, clever dialogue and a handsome blend of stop-motion and CGI animation that feels lovingly retro, while still looking sharp in 21st-century 3-D. But the best thing about this movie... is its subversive nature.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    With elegant, clockwork construction, Smith has transplanted his novel of greed, betrayal and getting what you deserve to the screen, where it is told by director Sam Raimi with a spareness befitting the whiteness of its snowed-in setting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    A lean and hungry thing. With the sparest of storytelling, the French filmmaker ("35 Shots of Rum") devours her audience, swallowing us up in a yarn that is as enigmatic as it is engrossing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's uncompromisingly steamy, in a way that seems designed to make people who are uncomfortable with a physical relationship between two men even more uncomfortable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Part of this success is due to the exquisitely cast ensemble-composed of actors, not movie stars. To a man, woman and child, the unforced performers are spot-on.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film suggests that it doesn't really matter whether Harris ever gets back in uniform. He's forever carrying around a piece of unexploded ordnance in his head.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    One heck of a tale of deliciously unladylike payback.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    An extraordinary film in many ways, the least of which is its unorthodox casting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Strangely moving film.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The only artwork by Ai that Klayman's film dwells on at any length -- aside from the iconic "bird's nest" stadium he helped design for the Beijing Olympics, and then denounced as tasteless -- is "Sunflower Seeds." Created for a 2010 exhibition at London's Tate Modern, the installation featured 100 million hand-painted ceramic sunflower seeds spread out on the floor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Elaine Stritch’s strength, along with the film’s, comes from her honesty. She is herself, even when — maybe especially when — she knows she’s being watched.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's scathing, moving critique of American public education, makes you actually want to do something after you dry your eyes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    With its wise understanding of the magnetic pull (and invisible polarities) of family, Junebug is an auspicious debut for Morrison.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wickedly clever drama.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Could hardly be more suspenseful if it were scripted.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's hard not to feel a certain affection for a tale that is so unapologetic about just that: affection.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A touching and unusual road movie-cum-buddy film.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 20 Michael O'Sullivan
    Miyazaki, like an evil sorcerer, has plucked the heart out of Jones's story and left it there to die.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    By land or by sea, there aren't many movies that can move you like that.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a gorgeous and, believe it or not, riveting documentary . . . about sheep.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The insecurities that seem to feed Rivers's often angry humor -- and that have left her face looking like a mask frozen in horror -- are left unexamined.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Their characters' desire (Scott Thomas and Zylberstein) -- no, need -- to repair their fragile bond feels as achingly real as the mother lode of hidden pain that gets exposed by the work of these two great actresses.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes works both as allegory and action-adventure film. The internecine conflict between apes mirrors the troubled history of our own race.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Let Me In wants to make your flesh crawl, and it probably will. But it's unlikely to ever get under anyone's skin, the way "Let the Right One In" did.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    A sprawling yet engrossing documentary.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Hilary and Jackie plumbs the cistern of family dysfunction and musical genius to profound and haunting effect.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Although the cast is uniformly strong, the real revelation here is "The X-Files' " Anderson, who plays Lily with subtle gradations of emotional depth unexpected from someone who has made a career out of deadpan.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Poignant, heartbreaking proof that, sometimes, love is just not enough.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is difficult to watch, but it's also impossible to take your eyes off the screen. It does not blench at the things that Hollywood routinely blenches at: substance abuse, dying, family dysfunction, love.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The disturbing ideas it plants in the soil of the soul need time and darkness ? not light ? to germinate.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Powerful yet ambiguous.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A touching documentary on the immigrant experience -- or at least one very tough slice of it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Haunting little film, whose chaotic universe is churned up by the conflict between the haves and the have-nots.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Troubling and powerful film, lingering on screen well into the final credits and in the minds of its audience long after the house lights have come on.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wetlands has only a sketchy plot, based largely on Helen’s dreams, fantasies and childhood memories. It isn’t terribly clear where the movie — or its hedonistic heroine — is going, but getting there is one wild ride.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's an infusion of zip that's sorely needed, because the chief deficiency of A Bug's Life so far is its blandness….The film's other weakness is the low-octane vocal performances of its leading cast.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    What the movie may lack in "Saving Private Ryan"-style gloss, it more than makes up for in authenticity, or, in other words, heart.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Together, under the assured direction of first-time feature filmmaker Oren Moverman, these three actors tell a story that is at once hard-hitting and bizarrely gentle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    God Loves Uganda clearly lays the blame for it at the feet of the American evangelical movement. The movie doesn’t really argue its case, preferring to stand back, in quiet outrage, as the representatives of that movement are shown with the match in their hands.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    The kind of stunning and contentious work of art that will leave a lot of folks speechless.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    A portrait of a sometimes surly, often foulmouthed, always brilliant artist that is at once humane, horrific, hilarious and deeply moving.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The real value of poetry - of the contest itself - is not revealed until the closing credits, when we see the impressive list of colleges that the movie's four subjects have gone on to.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Code Black is a powerful and quietly damning film. While training his lens narrowly on the heroic workers in a single emergency department, McGarry has made a broad indictment of a system that is badly in need of surgery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    A well-crafted story with a unique voice. But its literary gifts are outweighed by its pictorial prosaicness. Dimming the screen in every shot is the unmistakable shadow of the page.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Crudup gives a performance that is by turns scary, heartbreaking, grotesque and funny as hell.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    In Sheridan's warm and glowing treatment, the moral of the story feels less like a reheated fable than like something utterly, indescribably original.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is a documentary, pure and simple. But the movie, by director Rick Rowley, plays out like something of a murder mystery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A provocative and uncomfortable comedy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In addition to “pervert” — which Wojtowicz makes sound like a badge of honor — the film offers many other seemingly contradictory assessments of Wojtowicz, mainly from his own mouth: troll, Goldwater Republican, McCarthy peacenik, crazy man, crook, romantic. He was all of those things and more, as The Dog makes vividly obvious.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Chandor's film goes a long way toward making understandable - in vivid, cinematic terms - what exactly happened to make that first big domino fall over.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    While not exactly a cop-out, Virgin may leave some viewers who crave traditional closure with the same hollow ache described by the narrator as follows: "What lingered after them was not life but the most trivial list of mundane facts."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Eavesdropping on the glib conversations of witty urbanites can be a pleasant diversion, but after so much volubility, you might find yourself wishing that they would all just shut up and dance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A decidedly grown-up affair.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Tim’s Vermeer makes a convincing case that Vermeer could have painted the way Jenison says he did. It also makes a pretty powerful ancillary point: that some people are both geniuses and geeks.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It manages the trick of being both an unironic sci-fi action-adventure flick and a zippy parody of one. It’s exciting, funny, self-aware, beautiful to watch and even, for a flickering instant or two, almost touching.